Santa Cruz police Tuesday night were searching for a robbery suspect who shot a college student in the head while she was waiting for the bus Monday evening.
At about 7:30 p.m. Monday night, the 21-year-old UC Santa Cruz student was at the bus stop about a hundred yards away from an entrance to the Natural Bridges Beach and a few miles away from campus.
Police said a man pointed a rifle at her and demanded everything in her pockets. The victim said that was when she thought the suspect hit her in the back of the head with the butt of the rifle.
It wasn't until three hours later that doctors at Dominican Hospital realized it was a gunshot wound. Investigators the bullet never penetrated the secondary layer of the skull.
"She was amazing. She was able to keep her wits about her, pay attention to her surroundings, fight to survive through this ordeal as well as get help," said Deputy Chief Steve Clark of the Santa Cruz Police
Police say doctors were able to remove the bullet successfully. She was expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday night.
UC Santa Cruz sent out and email about the incident and the campus is a bit tense.
"[You] can't really stand at a bus stop alone," said UC Santa Cruz student Emilio Rubalcava. "You know, first thing, waiting for the bus trying to go to school and something like that happens?"
Santa Cruz police have released a sketch of a light-skinned man, about 5' 7'' tall with a medium build. He was wearing jeans, a grey hoodie and a red bandana over his face.
The victim also said he had a gruff voice and was unshaven.
The victim told police she saw a white Chrysler PT Cruiser circling the area before the robbery.
The suspect is now wanted for armed robbery and attempted homicide.
The woman was able to describe the man as white or light skinned, wearing jeans, a gray hoodie and a red bandana in a triangle covering his face with a gruff-sounding voice and several days of beard growth.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Santa Cruz Police Department investigations unit at (831) 420-5820.
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